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Oklahoma missionary gets 40 years in prison for sexually abusing children at Kenyan orphanage

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A former missionary from Oklahoma was sentenced in U.S. federal court on Monday to 40 years in prison for molesting children at a Kenyan orphanage.

Matthew Lane Durham, 21, was accused of molesting eight children at the Upendo Children’s Home in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in 2014.

Durham, of Edmond, Oklahoma, claimed he did not molest the children, but during a preliminary hearing prosecutors said Durham told Upendo personnel that he thought he had been possessed by an “evil spirit” because he did not remember committing the crimes.

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A live-in caretaker at the orphanage said that the children said Durham either touched them sexually or told them to touch themselves while he watched, prosecutors said during the same preliminary hearing.

When confronted by the founder of Upendo and several church members, Durham is alleged to have confessed to several instances of rape and sexual abuse of children, according to a criminal affidavit.

Last June, a federal jury found Durham guilty on seven counts including engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. However, in January U.S. District Judge David Russell acquitted him on three of the counts because the judge felt the prosecutors had failed to establish Durham engaged in a sexual act with the victim alleged in those counts.

Durham, who was also fined $15,863, had previously pleaded not guilty to 17 charges.

Prosecutors argued that Durham used his position as a missionary to prey upon young victims, but Durham’s attorney claimed the man’s handwritten and taped confessions were coerced. Officials with the orphanage reported Durham to authorities after they sent him home, according to court records.

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“Judgment from God is central, not the judgment of man,” Durham said in court in Oklahoma City on Monday. “I do not fear God’s judgment.”

Russell on Monday called Durham a serial rapist and “kids’ worst nightmare.”

Durham volunteered at the orphanage, which helps care for neglected and disabled children, according to previous records released by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

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From April to June of 2014, prosecutors allege that Durham engaged in sexual acts with multiple children, male and female, aged between 4 and 10 years, according to the affidavit.

(Reporting by Heide Brandes; Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis)

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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George Conway taunts Republican voters for sticking by ‘psycho buffoon’ Trump

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Conservative attorney George Conway launched a mini-tweet storm on Sunday morning just as President Donald Trump was leaving the country for a visit to India, telling Republican voters that they didn't have to settle for him being their candidate in 2016.

Along the way, he described the president as "a psycho and a buffoon."

In the series of tweets, Conway -- the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- noted that a more mainstream candidate could have won in 2016, writing, "Some perspective for supporters of @realDonaldTrump: A stable and competent GOP candidate would have won the popular vote in 2016, perhaps even by a few percentage points; a stable and competent GOP president, having inherited such a strong economy and goosed it with massive deficit spending, would have approval ratings of at least 55%."

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